Posted in Radio

Star 92.9 takes out attack ad on The Beat

Ad from Star 92.9 in this week's Suburban

Well that’s a bit more direct than you normally see. This ad is from Star 92.9 WEZF, a station based in Burlington, Vermont, that targets the Montreal audience even though it’s not incredibly easy to pick up here if you’re not in a car.

In case you can’t tell from the references to Aaron, Tasso, The Q and 92.5, the ad is a direct attack on The Beat (CFQR, now CKBE) and its programming changes.

I get the plan to profit from the format change, but the direct attack seems a bit much. Though there are still people bitter about Tasso and (later) Aaron getting the boot, I haven’t heard much negative about changing from The Q to The Beat. It’s too early to get an idea of ratings, but The Beat General Manager Mark Dickie says he’s encouraged by early numbers in their target demographic.

But I guess going outrageous is part of their marketing plan. It got me talking about them.

Star owner ad salesman Tim Martz spoke with The Suburban’s Mike Cohen recently (makes you wonder if the timing of the story and the ad are a coincidence).

14 thoughts on “Star 92.9 takes out attack ad on The Beat

  1. Shawn

    92.9 often played the identical music that the Q was playing. But WEZF’s announcers pale by comparison, I have a hard time listening to any of them.

    Reply
  2. ATSC

    WEZF-FM must have done some sort of informal opinion poll of the changes over at CKBE-FM. That ad seems to be very clear as in point form that people may have indicated what they didn’t like about the new CKBE-FM.

    Either way, it never hurts to have some competition. There are several border stations that give Montrealers some choice. WEZF 92.9, WYUL 94.7, WBTZ 99.9, WVPS 107.9 and a country station on 95.5 whose call sign I forget. And WVPS 107.9 recently boosted their HD Radio signal by almost 4 times. So that signal comes in as strong as their analog signal. This adds another two stations (VPR Classical, and BBC World Service)

    As for reception of any of these stations, a simple dipole FM antenna will do the trick.

    The only way Montreal radio will change is through competition. So, I welcome it.

    Reply
  3. Marc

    I’ve actually never had reception problems with WEZF, even on cheap portable equipment; said equipment can’t pick up MIKE-FM. Their antenna in on Mt. Mansfield, spitting distance from Montreal with that height.

    Reply
  4. Dilbert450

    This being said, their music mix is much more up-tempo than The Beat (in fact, when I heard about the format change, I thought they were going to copy Star and crank it up a notch, which they didn’t), without being too Virgin-esque. Especially on weekends, where they started “Party Weekend Music” recently, they have a much better variety.

    I agree with Shawn on the announcers, though. They operate in a small market, therefore you get a lot of ‘I’m-the-owner-and-I-am-doing-the-commercial-although-I-have-a-lousy-voice-and-no-charisma’. Especially a car dealership one where a guy screams the weekly deals in a message recorded… over a phone line. Star’s Suburban ad is conistent with that small market feel, sadly – looks like they’ve been using a free editing program and free Web fonts. And yes, it’s a little… bold as a tactic – acknowledging your competitors is risky.(Anyway, I’m a man, so I’m not supposed to like AC stations, so no wonder…)

    I live on the South Shore of Montreal, and it’s true that sometimes, you can easily lose the signal if you are too far from the border. But I like them and it’s often my go-to radio station in the car.

    Reply
  5. Elizabeth

    92.9 has and always will be an American station. Their whole programming to me has always been American based. Therefore their advertising as Montreal’s only adult music radio station is false to me. It does not represent montreal in any way whatsoever.

    Reply
  6. AlexH

    “The Beat General Manager Mark Dickie says he’s encouraged by early numbers in their target demographic”

    I love lines like this, because it is narrowing the answer down to areas they feel they are doing good in.

    I suspect that the Beat will do okay with it’s new morning guy, new music type, etc. Heck, I listen to it more than before (2 year old likes it). I think thought that their entire move may backfire on them if they gain in a given demographic, but lose listenership overall. I think that Mr Dickie is being less than forthcoming with his comments, and almost appears to be hiding or ignoring the dissatisfaction that 92.9 is keying on.

    The next set of numbers will be interesting.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I love lines like this, because it is narrowing the answer down to areas they feel they are doing good in.

      That wasn’t my impression from our conversation. Simply put, the numbers aren’t in yet for a full ratings period under the new brand. They can only extrapolate based on the previous numbers, which includes a bit of the new station.

      I think thought that their entire move may backfire on them if they gain in a given demographic, but lose listenership overall.

      Perhaps, but what advertisers care about are the key demographics, people who actually spend money on things being advertised. A 16-year-old or 98-year-old is not as valuable as a 32-year-old.

      Reply
  7. XPD

    As long as FM tries to compete with iTunes it’s going to lose market share. It’s the people people listen to. Here endth the lesson.

    Reply
  8. Fassero

    Tempo schmempo. Isn’t this the station that goes all Christmas music 24/7 every November for a couple of months? That can turn my EZ into ZZZZ pretty quick.

    Reply
  9. George across the border in Ontario

    Fassero raises an interesting point. If you’re seriously trying to take audience share away from “the Beat”, you can’t drop your efforts six weeks on and suddenly start playing Christmas music 24/7. It will be interesting to see what happens come mid November.

    Reply
    1. Jimmy Jack

      “It will be interesting to see what happens come mid November”

      Yes it will. No matter what format you are trying to do, two months of Christmas froth must kill the mood.

      Although it was the only time my wife listened to the station.

      Doesn’t Star 92.9 do the same thing?

      Reply
  10. Sheldon

    Statistics across North America show incredible ratings and, more importantly for the stations, incredible sales figures for the All-Christmas music formats in November and December. Believe it or not, the numbers are out there to prove it. Nowhere near as many stations as there are doing it would do so if it wasn’t profitable.

    Reply

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